In The Presence Of The Dalai Lama
My eye caught a glimpse of his robe, his slightly hunched shoulders, then his magnificent smile as he entered stage right. The 14th Dalai Lama emerged into view, his sweet and humble personality shined through as he waved signaling the crowd to stop paying him attention, during the introduction. The vision of him brought an unexpected stream of tears to my cold cheeks, falling sporadically onto my scarf. What a presence His Holiness had.
He held our Senators hand tightly with both of his; demonstrating he holds no boundaries against religions, culture, politics, age, sex, ethnicity, anything. His Holiness, as they call him truly lives his words and life’s work. His first statement was to the effect that we are all “one,” as his cute little Yoda like finger pointed toward the brisk October sky, saying everyone has triumphs and struggles but we, all people are “one.”
Universal flags of more countries than I could count proudly displayed their colors on both sides of the dome, surrounding a crowd of very lucky locals blessed with a ticket. I have never sat so upright or attentive for an hour and a half in my entire life, barely noticing the discomfort of the cold wooden chair. I couldn’t take it in fast enough, listening to his every word, with bated breath. It was magical, peace washed over me, I was safe in that dome away from life, reality, pressures, responsibilities and cell phones. I felt a calm feeling I have longed to feel for some time now. It was no rock concert where you gaze in awe of your favorite artist and can’t scream loud enough, it was more than that, so much more. My mind joked this is the new 30’s plus rock concert of internal screams. How refreshing it was to admire someone for their heart, not their talent, their fashion, or outer beauty. What if we could really internalize and model after his qualities? Could we obtain it individually in this hectic reality, where we can’t commit hours a day toward growth?
My belly, mind and heart have been in some turmoil medically and emotionally for the past eight months, but in that cold dome with bright florescent lighting that didn’t match the peaceful vibe, and a podium mic with too much high end, both attempting to tear my attention away from the message, I successfully practiced mindfulness and remained in that present moment.
I believe it was my “gram angel,” a term my friend shared with me that sent the following awareness to me. I was listening to him intently, when during his question and answer session as he sat on a couch, his fingers rested onto his lap into a heart shape, right side up pointing directly at my heart. Another flood of emotions came to me, tears streamed down my cheeks again, a stunned feeling inside my heart. I know it wasn’t planned that his thumbs and first fingers created this shape, but it hit me like a brick, somehow telling me the past eight months of belly and emotional struggles, acceptances, changes, self help books, doctor appointments and my overall growth process is somehow going to be okay. It felt like someone had shot an arrow directly from stage, right into my core.
I can’t claim to know everything about his life’s journey, but I can tell you I felt everything I needed to feel at this stage in my life, right there in the presence of His Holiness; the 14th Dalai Lama.